Burundi sends 1,000 extra AU troops to Somalia

Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:10pm GMT

* Deployment brings Burundi soldier numbers to 4,400

* Kenya about to send last group of Somali troops it trained

By Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU, March 12 (Reuters) - Burundi has sent 1,000 more troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia taking its total there to 4,400, its army spokesman said on Saturday.

The U.N.-backed Transitional Federal Government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed controls part of the capital, and AMISON -- AU troops from Uganda and Burundi -- is fighting to stop two hardline Islamist insurgent groups from taking over the rest.

The groups also control much of south and central Somalia.

"We have deployed 1,000 extra Burundian troops to Mogadishu two days ago," Lieutenant Colonel Jastace Ciza told Reuters by phone from Bujumbura. "We have sent them to strengthen our forces in Mogadishu."

Previously AMISOM soldiers numbered about 8,000.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.